I read this sentence,

...to leave print and take the leap into a digital future. (Tina Brown.A New Chapter.Newsweek.Dec 31,2012.5)

I haven't found the phrase "take the leap" in my dictionaries. Does "take the leap" have the exactly same meaning as "make a leap"? I surmise "take the leap" has something to do with "stride over the obstacle", but I'm not very sure.

  • 1
    I think in the US, the more common phrase is "take the plunge." Ngram on 4 variants here
    – mkennedy
    Commented Nov 12, 2015 at 19:42

2 Answers 2


"To take a leap" and "to make a leap" are interchangeable.

However the expression doesn't come from imagery of leaping over an obstacle like an object. Instead, it is more like leaping between two points with a bottomless chasm between them, like so.

Taking a leap of faith is a very common expression, implying that the individual must have faith (either in themselves, or somebody else, or god) that they will survive the leap.

"Taking the plunge," has a different meaning. It comes from experience of going to a a pool and jumping right into it and getting all wet at once, instead of getting in the pool little by little to get yourself accustomed to the water.

The two have subtly different meanings. If you take the leap, you're jumping across and into something new. Whereas if you take the plunge, you fully immersing yourself into something instead of taking baby steps to get there.


Not necessarily. To take a leap tends to mean to take the next step or especially to take a risk of some sort. As well as the example given, people might describe getting married, buying a house or moving abroad as "I'm going to take the leap and..."

Not that people might not also say 'make a leap' in the same fashion, BUT they may also refer to making assumptions based on limited data as 'making leaps'. For instance - "I know she likes chicken so I'm going to make a leap and say she also likes turkey."


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .